Protection of water

A plentiful supply of clean potable water is surely an essential component of a healthy living environment. However, increasing living standards and population densities continue to put pressure on available water supplies, such that investment in new sources and water treatment facilities is expanding rapidly and will continue to do so for some time to come.

Whether it is to expand the purification of water from existing sources, or to bring on–stream completely new types of supply such as desalination, we find an increasing need for tubes, valves, filters and other components made from stainless steel. Its corrosion resistance is an obvious benefit for such components but so, too, are its ease of fabrication and its cleanability. A further important consideration is the inert nature of stainless steel from a biological standpoint. Increasingly stringent water purity standards require materials that do not leach into the water significant traces of hazardous constituents. In this section, papers and other publications describe the many ways that stainless steels help to prevent contamination of our lakes and rivers as well as to treat and distribute the water from our taps that so often we take for granted.

Stainless Flexible Service Lines
Simply Fit and Forget!

Leaks in distribution systems are costly. Added to the direct cost of the lost water that cannot be sold are the financial and environmental costs of finding, treating and storing more water to compensate for the losses. This problem affects rich and poor cities alike. Many utilities do not know the exact extent of the water loss in their system.

In Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul a solution was found to reduce the leaks significantly by using stainless flexible service lines. This Team Stainless leaflet explains the system and the results in a nutshell.

This leaflet is available in Chinese, English and French.

Stainless steel - water for the growing world

Water is mankind's most precious resource. Stainless steel is an ideal material to handle this element of life. Let us take you on a guided tour of the applications of stainless steel in a water context.

Take the guided tour
Wasting fresh water: stopping systemic failures

Water loss through leaking water pipes is a problem for cities all over the world. Some of them are losing water at upwards 40% per year, and this is all water which has already been treated. A recent study by the OECD has shown that it is not only the under developed or even the developing cities that are so affected – even the capital cities of major economies are losing far more water than is sustainable or even viable. The world stainless association has published a brochure which reports their research into the service pipe lines in the cities of Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei. All three cities have started to use stainless steel corrugated pipes for transporting potable water from the water mains to the interior of the building.

Changing their pipes to stainless steel ones has meant enormous amounts of water have been saved. With this booklet and a webinar, worldstainless would like to tell this story to the rest of the world, so other cities and communities will consider stainless steel pipes an option to reduce leaking pipes and to save precious water.

The brochure is available in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish [clicking on the language will download the pdf].

You can watch the webinar here.

Stainless steel in drinking water supply

Its inert and corrosion-resistant nature makes stainless steel an ideal material for contact with drinking water in all stages from extraction to domestic plumbing. Stainless steel is the only metallic material that is suitable for any usual drinking water composition.
This brochure explains why stainless steel is an ideal material for contact with drinking water and highlights applications in water intake, water preparation, water storage and distribution.

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Desalination in stainless steel

Successful desalination requires a material that can resist the aggressive corrosion caused by seawater and brine. Utilising stainless steel to create fresh water further increases the sustainability profile of the desalination industry. The durability and minimal maintenance requirements of stainless make it a good choice economically. The high-level of recycled content and 100% recyclability at the end of its life are the cornerstones of stainless steel’s environmental profile. High performance stainless steels, including duplex grades, are the perfect choice for desalination.

This brochure will give you more detailed information on desalination in stainless steel complemented with some case studies.

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Stainless steel for a cleaner world

Stainless steel plays a key role in environmental control technology.

Not only is it a sustainable, fully recyclable material, it also helps us reconcile the requirements of modern societies with the need to protect the Earth and use its resources responsibly. Here are just a few examples of how stainless steel can improve the environment.

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Press fit fitting systems and stainless steel

This publication outlines:

  • the main technical properties of stainless steel "press-fit" connections
  • its competitive position in the context of alternative solutions
  • typical areas of application
  • aspects of design and installation that are specific to stainless steel.


The publication is available in English, Dutch, German and Italian [clicking on the language will open a pdf]

Drinking water systems in stainless steel

Stainless steel pipes for drinking water systems facilitate the job of keeping water clean and quality standards high.

Brochure available in English and German [clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Stainless steels and drinking water around the world

Paper by Dr. P. Cutler, Nickel Development Institute, Birmingham (UK) presented at the workshop “Stainless Steel in Drinking Water Applications”, Brussels, 19th November 2003, organised by Euro Inox with support from CEOCOR (Brussels) and GfKorr (Frankfurt/M.). Discusses the reasons why stainless steels are used in drinking water applications and covers grade selection, life-cycle cost benefits and design and fabrication aspects.

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Stainless steel in filtration

Filtration is part of our daily life … and stainless steel is the material of choice for filtration. In this document you can find out how, why and where!

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Stainless steel in sewage treatment plants

Water – the blue gold of the blue planet, used in so many ways: for agriculture, for the processing and preparation of food and beverages, for heating and cooling, for energy generation, and for the production of a wide spectrum of industrial and consumer goods. About 70% of the world’s surface is covered with water, but less than 3% of it is fresh water, making it a very precious commodity. The use of water produces wastewater. Like any other waste products, wastewater is a valuable, sustainable resource and should be treated appropriately.

This brochure will give you more detailed information on where stainless steel is used in sewage treatment plants and why. Operators of WWTPs and the manufacturers of the equipment used in them appreciate stainless steel for a number of reasons. They are very much aware of its technical and economical advantages. Some of their testimonies have also been included in this brochure.

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Stainless steels and the water industry: from knowledge to applications

There is increasing pressure to provide more clean drinking water to more people. At the same time, impact on the environment must be minimized. Stainless steels can and do play an important part in providing cost-effective solutions to these requirements. However, this can only happen when the relevant properties and costs are understood by those who have to make the choice of material for a particular application.

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Selection of stainless steels in water supply and waste water treatment

Type 304 and 316 stainless steels are normally successfully used in the range of water compositions encountered during water and waste water treatment. They do not experience general thinning and therefore do not require a corrosion allowance. This allows thin and light weight sections to be made that are readily transportable, and have a low maintenance requirement throughout a long service life.
Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Rouging of stainless steel in high purity water systems

Rouging is sometimes found in high purity hot water systems, usually appearing as a thin red or black powdery or 'slimy' deposit. The mechanism that causes rouging does not appear to be fully understood, but is connected to destabilization of the passive layer. Measures that improve corrosion resistance can help prevent rouging. Passivation and smoothing of surface finishes by electropolishing have been used to reduce the risk of rouge formation.
Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Stainless steel for rainwater goods and accessories

The following are being discussed:

  • Functional aspects
  • Architectural features
  • Environmental qualities
  • Choice of grade and surface
  • Applications (roof geometries, bitumen-felt roofs, historic monuments)
  • Guidelines (tools, forming, soft-soldering, adhesive bonding, fixings)
  • Accessories

Besides English, this publication is also available in Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish [Clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Stainless steel to the service of potable water

As proved by the increasing number of stainless steel applications in the potable water sector, some of which will be briefly described in the last section of this article, the use of stainless steel is growing in this specific emerging sector. The article describes the “state of the art” in this sector particularly focussing on stainless steel grades used in contact with potable water, its corrosion resistance and hygienic properties, laws and standards.
[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]
Source: Centro Inox

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Stainless steel in the refurbishment of water pipes

The remediation of pipelines for potable water that are in a bad state is an issue that has absolute priority for public governments. More reliable and durable solutions are needed. In this article the maintenance of two interventions, performed using a method that allows the introduction of stainless steel pipe inside of the existing pipelines, are described.
[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]
Source: Centro Inox

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Stainless steels and potable water

The purpose of this paper is to present the role of stainless steel as a material to serve for potable water. As confirmed by recent applications, stainless steel is gaining its own identity in an area which, however, has other materials as protagonists.
[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]
Source: Centro Inox

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Potable water supply – corrosion and aspects regarding materials

Many changes have occurred in the criteria on how to choose tubes for heat exchangers for condensers in steam power installations. Currently the tendency is to use fewer materials and to reduce the wall thickness of the tubes; in the mean time general improvements are done to the materials. This implies a departure from traditional copper alloys.
[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]
Source: Centro Inox

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Potable, waste waters and gas: the role of stainless steels

The purpose of this paper is to frame the role of stainless steel as a material at the service of the integrated water cycle. It presents specific characteristics such as chemical properties and physical and mechanical resistance to corrosion.
[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]
Source: Centro Inox

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Stainless steel in waste water treatment

In sewage treatment stainless steel has a track record of superior technical and economic performance. Its further development potential in this application is huge: urbanisation is accelerating throughout the world. The efficient handling and treatment of waste water is a key element of sustainable urban development. This Euro Inox shares current experience with designers and operators of waste water treatment facilities. The 28-page publication “Performance of Stainless Steels in Waste Water Installations” examines the specific requirements on stainless steel in this environment and makes conclusions for grade selection, design, fabrication and installation. Besides the impact of the waste water, also atmospheric influences and the corrosion resistance in soil are addressed. Finally, the economic benefits are described in terms of life cycle cost.

This brochure is available in English, German and Polish [clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Stop Leaks Ask for Stainless Steel Help (S.P.L.A.S.H.)

Information about cost-effective, durable, potable water distribution systems using stainless steel.

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The suitability and use of stainless steel for plumbing applications

This special report provides a synopsis of a research project carried out by the British Stainless Steel Association on the suitability and use of stainless steel tubes and fittings for internal plumbing applications.

Source: BSSA

Download the report here
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